How ‘Toy-Box Killer’ captured & killed 60 women with homemade torture chamber – & incredible tale of victim who ESCAPED

How 'Toy-Box Killer' captured & killed 60 women with homemade torture chamber - & incredible tale of victim who ESCAPED

IN A remote town in the middle of the desert, a twisted sexual sadist dubbed the “Toy-Box Killer” raped and murdered potentially more than 60 women in a depraved series of crimes.

David Ray Parker, a mechanic and state park ranger, built a homemade torture chamber out of a cargo trailer that he soundproofed and filled with an array of horrifying devices and weapons.

David Parker Ray - The 'Toy-Box Killer' smiles in his prison mugshot


David Parker Ray – The ‘Toy-Box Killer’ smiles in his prison mugshotCredit: Sierra County Sheriff’s Office
He raped and tortured women inside a trailer he dubbed the 'Toy Box'


He raped and tortured women inside a trailer he dubbed the ‘Toy Box’Credit: AP
A homemade box Ray would put over his victim's heads to disorientate them.


A homemade box Ray would put over his victim’s heads to disorientate them.Credit: AP
The 'Toy Box' was made out of a repurposed cargo trailer kept on Ray's property


The ‘Toy Box’ was made out of a repurposed cargo trailer kept on Ray’s propertyCredit: Collect
Ray's 'Toy Box' contained a homemade gynecological chair he would attach women to


Ray’s ‘Toy Box’ contained a homemade gynecological chair he would attach women toCredit: Collect

The twisted killer’s crime spree is still haunting even nearly 21 years to the day he finally died in prison.

His years of crime were only brought to an end after a naked and blood-covered woman wearing a dog collar and chain around her neck was found close to Parker’s home in Elephant Butte, New Mexico, a small town of just 1,400 people around 150 miles south of Albuquerque.

Cynthia Vigil, a 22-year-old sex worker, would turn out to be the final victim of the man who would later be dubbed the “Toy-Box Killer”.

The name came from the trailer he kept on his property which he dubbed the “Toy-Box”, and where he kept his victims, raping and violently sexually assaulting them for days on end with a sickening selection of homemade sex toys and instruments of torture.

A sign cops found on the inside wall of the trailer read “Satan’s Den”.

Cynthia survived after she was able to flag down a passing car, and it is thanks to her that we know exactly what went down inside Ray’s house of horrors.

Born in 1939 in Bellen, New Mexico, around 35 miles south of Albuquerque, David Parker Ray had a twisted upbringing that many suspect morphed him into a monster.

His father was a violent alcoholic who abandoned his young family, at which point his mother shipped him and his sister off to his grandparents.

Bullied at school for his appearance and shyness around girls, from an early age he developed an obsession with bondage and sadomasochism.

His father fuelled his fantasies, buying him violent porn magazines from his early teens on the rare occasions that he visited his son.

Despite being a weak student, Ray graduated high school in 1957, working a number of odd jobs as a mechanic.

After years of drifting, he settled in Elephant Butte where he became involved in a small, underground BDSM scene, attending secret parties and clubs.

He worked as a maintenance man for the New Mexico Parks Department in nearby Truth or Consequences, where he often picked up his victims working in bars.

It isn’t known exactly when Ray began committing his horrific crimes.

Victims brought back to his “Toy-Box” would find themselves strapped to a makeshift gynecological chair, at which point they were played a spine-chilling pre-recorded message featuring Ray’s voice.

In the recording, the sicko boasted that he had been “rapin’ b*****s” since he was a teenager.

He even alleged to his first wife that he had kidnapped, tortured, and murdered a woman as far back as 1957 when he would have been just 17 years old.

In 1986, Ray’s adult daughter Glenda Jean “Jesse” Ray told the FBI that her father was abducting and torturing women before selling them over the border in Mexico.

But her allegations were never followed up and, chillingly, Ray’s daughter soon became his accomplice in his despicable crimes.


In 1997, Ray met Cindy Hendy, a 37-year-old mother-of-three on the run from the police who had ditched her children and fled across the country.

The two worked together and became partners sexually, as well as partners in crime.

Ray trained Hendy to be his accomplice, teaching her how to kidnap and abuse women.

He even made an 18-point instructional guide titled “Psychological and Physical Procedures Initial Handling of the Captive Personal Fetish,” which was taped to the wall of the torture chamber.

His torture chamber was constructed by Ray for a cost of around $100,000.

A mirror on the ceiling over the gynecological table forced victims to watch the sickening crimes.

The women would listen to a truly disturbing 45-minute recorded message made by Ray.

At the end of the tape, he told the women that he would drug them with sodium pentothal and phenobarbitol so they couldn’t remember what had happened.

He chillingly pledged that “you’re not going to remember a f****** thing about this little adventure. You won’t remember this place, us, or what has happened to you.”

Cynthia Vigil was able to escape from Ray's clutches


Cynthia Vigil was able to escape from Ray’s clutchesCredit: AP
She was found walking naked down the street covered in blood


She was found walking naked down the street covered in bloodCredit: AP

In 1994, 20-year-old Kelli Van Cleave moved from Kansas City, Kansas to Truth or Consequences, New Mexico.

She married Patrick Murphy in 1996, but their marriage was strained.

One night after a fight, she went to a nearby bar where she met with a friend, Jesse Ray, the daughter of David Parker Ray.

Jesse drove them to her father’s house where he overpowered Kelli.

He held a knife to her throat, put a dog collar around her neck, and covered her face in duct tape.

When Kelli was taken into the toy box, she could see saws, chains, whips, clamps, cattle prods, bottles of oil, and metal bars.

A medical cabinet with syringes and chemicals was also kept in the trailer.

The chair could be moved along a six-foot rail using a remote control.

There was also a seven-foot coffin with restraints and ventilation holes used by Ray to keep his victims in.

Kelli was tortured for three days before Ray drove her home.

He told her husband he had found her walking aimlessly on the beach.

Murphy believed that his wife had been drinking or had cheated on him, and kicked her out of the house.

For years, she couldn’t remember what had happened, but she was haunted by vivid nightmares.


On March 22, 1999, passing drivers spotted a truly horrific sight.

A young woman was running down the road in the middle of the New Mexico afternoon heat, completely naked except for a padlocked dog collar around her neck attached to a five-foot length of chain.

She was covered in blood and had a large cut on her scalp.

Despite clearly being in distress, not a single driver stopped to let Cynthia Vigil into their cars.

Eventually, she ran into a nearby mobile home where Darleene Breech and her husband were watching TV.

Darlene said: “She came straight in wearing nothing except the chains around her neck and was crying. She was bloody, very bloody, and was a very terrified girl.”

Cynthia screamed: “Don’t let them get me!”

It later emerged that Cynthia had escaped after three days of torture by Ray and his accomplice, Cindy Hendy.

Ray dubbed himself a “sexual scientist”, and kept graphic and disturbing notes on his crimes.

While he was at work, Cynthia was able to escape the “Toy Box” and found the keys to get out.

Hendy spotted her and a vicious fight broke out, but Cynthia was able to stab her kidnapper in the neck and get away.

After being taken in by Darlene, who called the police, cops arrived and arrested Ray and Hendy an hour later.

At the house, they found, along with Ray’s torture chamber, hundreds of videotapes cataloguing his despicable attacks.

The women’s heads were mostly covered either with duct tape or with a horrific homemade box contraption.

By the time the news about Ray came out, his victim Kelli Van Cleave was separated from her husband and was still tortured by nightmares of what had happened.

But her former mother-in-law, on seeing the news, believed that Kelli may have been one of his victims, and she called in a tip to the FBI.

Agents reviewing the tape noticed that one of the women in the tapes had a distinctive swan tattoo on her leg.

They contacted Kelli and discovered that she had a matching tattoo.


Videotapes found in Ray’s home revealed that he tortured hundreds of women.

In the tape of instructions he made for his victims, he claimed to have murdered a number of women.

He also confessed to his girlfriend how he would dump the corpses of victims in a nearby reservoir.

Ray also referred to a number of accomplices in his tape.

He was sentenced to 224 years in prison for the abduction, rape, and torture of three women.

Today, police believe Ray may have raped, tortured, and murdered as many as 60 women, during an almost half-century of crime that only ended with his arrest in 1999.

He targeted mostly sex workers, drug addicts, and runaways.

It isn’t known how many women he killed, as Ray died before FBI agents could interview him properly.

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On May 28, 2002, while waiting to be interrogated by state police, Ray died of a massive heart attack at the age of 62.

Cynthia Vigil later founded a volunteer group Street Safe New Mexico which works with sex workers and other vulnerable people living on the streets in the state.

Ray died in prison before he could be interrogated about his alleged murders


Ray died in prison before he could be interrogated about his alleged murdersCredit: AP:Associated Press
Cops dig for bodies on Ray's land in Elephant Butte, New Mexico


Cops dig for bodies on Ray’s land in Elephant Butte, New MexicoCredit: Getty
He is believed to have dumped bodies in a nearby reservoir


He is believed to have dumped bodies in a nearby reservoirCredit: Alamy

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